Fissure Sealants

Fissure sealants

Dr Stephens, of 7to7dentist is a firm believer in preventive dental care. Brushing, flossing, and, in particular, fissure seals! A fissure is a small groove, channel or valley that occurs on the biting surface of most back teeth. These grooves have nasty decay bacteria in them, and the fissures fill up with food, and sugar almost every time we eat. Unfortunately, a toothbrush bristle is much wider than the fissures on teeth, so the bacteria in the grooves cant be removed by cleaning. The fissures are very deep in molar teeth, which are highly likely to decay, if they are not protected with a fissure sealant. The premolar teeth have smaller grooves, which decay much less often than molar teeth. It is still beneficial for a lot of patients to have their premolars fissure sealed.Incisors usually have no grooves or fissure in them, so they do not require fissure seals. (very occasionally  the upper lateral incisor has a large groove which needs to have a fissure sealant on them, but this is a rare occurrence)

If a tooth with a deep groove in it requires a fissure seal, Dr Stephens will thoroughly clean the groove, ensure there is no decay, then places a material like ‘super glue’ on the tooth. The fissure seal stops the food collecting in the groove, and can literally stop 90% of decay on that part of the tooth.

A fissure seal is a painless procedure to have done, and is an excellent protective coating for the teeth. It is quick and inexpensive! It prevents the need for a large amount of expensive dental work in the years to come. Children and adults tolerate the procedure very well. The tooth is cleaned very well with the ultrasonic scaler, which is the same machine used to clean peoples teeth every six months. The grooves and channels of the tooth are thoroughly cleaned, and inspected under high magnification  to assess any possible decay. If there is any decay found, a very small composite resin will be placed. The teeth are often isolated with a ‘rubber dam’, which is like an umbrella for the tooth. It allows Dr Stephens to work in a nice, dry field, and is nicer for the patient not to smell and taste our dental materials! The tooth is then etched with a mild acid, in order to enable the enamel to stick properly to the fissure sealant. A thin layer of bonding is then placed, then the fissure seal is placed, and cured or set with a blue light. The fissure seal can be eaten on straight away, and will last for a long time. >> Fissure seals are one of the main reasons why so many families on the central coast have children that are decay free. 7to7dentist.com is a firm believer in prevention being far, far better, and far less expensive than the alternative of future decay.